Anti-dumping duty unfair: WAFarmers

Kate MatthewsCountryman
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WAFarmers has warned Australian Customs and Border Protection Services (ACBPS) that a glyphosate anti-dumping duty will be an unfair burden on Australian farmers.

In February, Nufarm and Accensi successfully lodged an application for ACBPS to investigate the alleged dumping of cheap formulated glyphosate imported into Australia from China.

Industry had until March 19 to comment on the claims, with six out of seven respondents saying there was no merit in the claims.

Both Nufarm and Accensi formulate glyphosate in WA and the eastern states and claim dumped imports contributed to a 20 per cent reduction in Australian production volumes in the 2010-2011 financial year.

At the same time, imported volumes increased 393 per cent.

WAFarmers wrote in its submission that an anti-dumping duty would immediately increase costs of all glyphosate products and, in the long-term, would set a new 'floor price' with ongoing cost increases borne by farmers.

Singapore-based Pacific Agriscience claimed an anti-dumping duty would discourage innovation and make Australian agricultural produce less competitive in world markets.

Pacific Agriscience managing director CS Liew commented it was the applicants own act of importing large amounts of glyphosate from China that had contributed to the predicament.

Law firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth, acting on behalf of the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals, which in turn represents Chinese glyphosate exporters, said Chinese exports had not injured the Australian industry.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth highlighted a correction in price to historical levels and Nufarm reducing its exposure to formulated glyphosate when the Australian market was expanding as the causes.

But India-based United Phosphorous, ranked third among generic agrochemical organisations in the world, suggested the problem lay with the different standards of quality adopted by organisations.

United Phosphorous director Chander Yarrapotu wrote that some imports from China were sourced through traders not registered with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA).

Mr Yarrapotu added the imports contained cheap surfactant that could reduce costs by 25 to 30 cents a litre.

"Organisations that follow strict standards and adhere to APVMA-registered formulations find it difficult to compete with the cheaper grade available," he said.

"The fundamental problem lies with the finished goods with low grade surfactant entering Australia.

"We do not believe there are sufficient checks to ascertain that the imported product conforms to the product specifications and recipe registered with the APVMA."

Submissions were also received from Agrichem Manufacturing Industries and Agronomiq, as well as questionnaire responses from Farmoz, Landmark Operations and Titan Ag.

A Nufarm submission clarified salts of glyphosate as like goods and within the terms of the investigation.

An ACBPS spokesperson said public versions of the submissions were accessible on the electronic public record for the investigation (no. 183) at http://adpr.customs.gov.au/Customs/.

A final report and recommendations will be made to the Minister for Home Affairs by July 10.

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